OTTAWA, April 3, 2018 /CNW/ - On National Carers Day, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) joins Canadians as they laud the valuable contribution of caregivers. For Canadians living with mental health problems and illness, family caregivers — whether they are relatives or people from a broader circle of support — are critical to recovery.
Without doubt, mental health is a family affair. More than 580,000 people in Canada care for someone with a mental health problem or addiction. That support saves the health system millions of dollars every year. Yet there is more we can do to protect and promote the mental health and wellness of these invaluable caregivers.
At the MHCC, we are committed to amplifying the voices of family caregivers, fostering the involvement of caregivers as valued partners in the mental health and addiction systems, and ensuring they are supported in their own mental health and well-being. The MHCC's caregiver guidelines offer 41 recommendations aimed at policy makers and service providers to bolster caregiver engagement. The guidelines were recently supplemented with a tool kit for mobilization designed to help advocates encourage decision-makers to implement the recommendations.
I encourage all Canadians to help break the stigma and social isolation caregivers often experience—connect with a caregiver in your life, show them your support with a kind word or a supportive gesture. Further, I invite you to read the MHCC caregiver guidelines to learn how to support caregivers as they accompany their loved ones on their mental health recovery journey. Lastly, I welcome your participation in Carer Canada's social media campaign called Connecting Carers, #CareConnections.
Louise Bradley President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada